Monday, October 1, 2007

New New Story Idea

Wrote up a new story for people to mill over just so we can get some new ideas hammered out before our next meeting with DQ. I did this one up based on his suggestions and what everyone was talking about at Lourice. I think it may be running long and the tail still needs to have a more active role near the end, but it should give us something to work with.

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Open with a group of glowing animals milling about a VIP~style lounge with an elegant clouds-and-night-sky style decorum. All of the animals are wearing medallions around their necks with constellations engraved into them. The animals are chatting and laughing as non-glowing ox works around them, clearing glasses or sweeping floors. The Ox is enthusiastic to butt into the other animals’ conversations, but they just ignore him or push him aside.

The Emperor storms in in a huff, the animals look mildly interested in what’s wrong. He rants and points at a widescreen display one the wall showing “RECENT WORSHIP POLLS: CELESTIAL EMPEROR AT ALL-TIME LOWS” with a subtitle like “ODIN WINS HEARTS WITH PROMISES OF FOOD IN THE AFTERLIFE!” The Emperor tells them that if the people are impressed by food in the afterlife, then they’ll just have to up the stakes and give them food on EARTH! He says that he wants one of them to go down to Earth to deliver his message to the people that as long as the pray to him they’ll receive a meal every third day.

The animals are completely unenthusiastic and full of themselves, telling the emperor that ever since he granted them their place in the stars, they don’t need to do anything for him. Two of them high-five each other, the ox moves to get in on it, but they leave him hanging. The Emperor rants about how none of his animals are willing to help, and the ox perks up and runs up to the Emperor excitedly. As the emperor and the other animals have their back-and-forth, the ox continues to try and fail to grab the Emperor’s attention. Eventually one of the other animals suggests the emperor send the ox, which causes everyone in the room to burst out in laughter. The ox looks crushed, grabs a tray of dirty glasses, and slinks away in defeat.

In the kitchen, the ox puts the dishes down and grabs a roll of paper. He unrolls in and tacks it up over the sink, gazing at it wistfully. We pans across the paper, showing that it is a star chart with illustrative paintings of all of the celestial animals. Taped over a blank space in the middle of the chart is a piece of paper with a crudely drawn dot-ox on it. The ox’s tail comes up beside him to look at the chart as well. The ox slumps sadly, but the tail pokes at him as though to tell him to cheer up or not give up. The ox looks away and turns to the direction of the VIP room. Through the window he can see everyone leaving. The Emperor gives the animals a fed-up wave as they leave, and then goes to hang a baubley necklace on the wall, which continues to glow even after the Emperor leaves. The ox grins wide, which causes the tails to do a double take and give a cautionary shake.

After the room is completely deserted, the ox sneaks in with his eyes on the necklace. As he moves across the room, the tail gives it’s best effort to dissuade him, grabbing at furniture, pulling away, and slapping and tugging at his hands as he takes the necklace off of the wall. Upon putting it on, he begins to glow as well. Necklace at hand, he takes off towards a room with some sort of magically-charged contraption labeled “TO EARTH”

Down on earth,the colours are dull and washed out and the land is barren. People are not starving and pathetic, but still appear discontent. An elegant shrine sits at the foot of a grand mountain, and begins charge with magical energy. The people gather around, looking excited and mumbling amongst themselves as they wait to see which deity is going to appear. Light flashes and the ox rolls out in a completely un-magnificent manner, causing a general feeling of confusion to move through the crowd.

A villager moves to the front of the crowd to ask just who exactly the ox is. The ox puffs up his chest and proudly states that he is the Celestial Ox! The villager looks completely unimpressed and says he’s never heard of him. The ox looks surprised and says that he must have at some point! The villager says no, and another steps forward to ask where his constellation is. When the ox concedes that he hasn’t actually EARNED his place in the stars yet, the villagers look as though he has just wasted their precious time and all begin walking away. Frantic to deliver his message and prove himself, the ox yells for the to wait. when no one stops, he yells that the Emperor sent him to tell the people that he plans to give them food! Food on Earth! This piques the interest of the villagers and makes them turn back.

The head villager gives the ox a sly look and asks how much food, exactly. The ox backs down a little and says that the Emperor plans to let them eat once every third day. The villagers look decidedly unimpressed and turn to walk away, saying that a meal every three days isn’t all that impressive, and that there are probably other , more powerful Gods they could pray to that would give them a lot more food. The ox doesn’t know what to do, and frantically looks around. He sees a newspaper in a shop window with a headline reading “ODIN: THE PEOPLE’S GOD?”, and looks up in the sky at the place in the stars where he’s always dreamed of having his own constellation. Unsure of what he is thinking, his tail is busy grabbing at him and trying to stop him from speaking again.

The ox puts his arms out and calls to the people to stop. He becomes more forceful and intimidating looking, and his glow intensifies as he boldly declares that the Emperor really sent him to say that they would get food THREE TIMES A DAY! Lightning flashes and the entire colour scheme of the world becomes lush and vibrant. Sprouts, bushes, and other types of vegetation erupt in a wave over the landscape and rivers carve through the earth. The people erupt in cheers and run off to grab handfuls of food and water. The ox looks at the landscape, stunned by the drastic change and has only a brief opportunity to wonder what is going to happen to him for changing the message so wildly before there is a loud crash of thunder and he is instantly teleported back to the kitchen of the Emperor’s VIP room.

The Emperor is furious with the Ox and yells about how there is no possible way he could ever continue to make enough food to be able to feed all the people of Earth that often. The ox meekly wonders why the emperor can’t just get someone else to fix the message, to which the Emperor barks that once his word is put into effect, it’s impossible to change. In his rage, the Emperor tells the ox that if he wants the people to eat three times a day, he can spend the rest of his life making the food for them himself. With a wave of his hand, a yoke appears and snaps around the terrified ox’s neck.

Just as the emperor is about to kick the ox back down to Earth, flashing lights coming from the direction of the display screen make him turn around to see what all the commotion is. The emperor is rendered speechless when he sees that his worshipper-approval is at an all-time high. Excited now, he tells the ox that he can’t believe it, that he actually got the people back on their side. The ox meekly wonders if this means that he won’t have to go to earth after all. A look of sadness crosses the Emperor’s face and he shakes his head. He reminds the ox that he still needs to be punished for his disobedience and the people still need to get the food that was promised to them somehow. He looks a bit regretful as he sends the ox back to earth, but then notices the star chart tacked up on the wall.

Back on earth, the ox is standing in a field, straining to pull a plough. As he works, people walk by with handfuls of food and thank him for everything he’s done. As more people walk by, patting him on the head or giving him thumbs-up, his attitude perks up and he pulls the plough with greater ease. Someone in the crowd points up to the sky, causing the ox and villagers to turn around and look in the direction of the Celestial palace in the clouds above the mountain just in time to see a flash appear in field of celestial constellations and burn an ox image right in the center. The people cheer, and faun over the ox.

As the narrator tells the audience that although he sacrificed so much, the ox was finally happy to have the respect he had always longed for, the camera slowly pulls out and settles on two villagers watching the scene from afar. One turns to the other and speaks the only line of actual dialogue in the film thus far, “Man, that ox sure is dumb”, to which the other replies “Yeah, at least he can pull stuff, I guess.”

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I'm thinking maybe the sky around the palace on top of the mountain can just look perpetually starry, that way we can still show the ox getting his constellation while it's daytime and all the people are around to admire it and make him feel big and important.

I dunno, my brain's feeling kind of mushy at the moment. It's quarter after 2, and I've had enough of this ox for the night.

5 comments:

Jason Gerardus Teeuwissen said...

that is freaking awesome kelly! I'm going to board out as much as i can for Friday

brockorama said...

I think it works really well too. Its definitely the funniest one yet. Now the ox's message change is because he's trying to earn some respect. I think people could empathize with that easily. And he basically gets tricked by the people into giving the right message. So the line of the villagers at the end is really fitting, and really sums up the story in simplest terms. We need to work on shortening and simplifying the club stuff in the setup as much as possible. And maybe in this version the tail is unnecessary as a second character? Other than that I really like where this is going

Becka said...

I hate to be the negative one here but something just isnt sitting right for me.
I think we have strayed a very far way from the original story although I do like most changes we have made. Something about a VIP room in the heavens and treating the Ox as a massive reject just doesn't feel right to me. I will go as far as saying that I believe it is complicating the story too much.

I much prefered DQ's idea of having him looking at the stars as a realistate type thing. I also think it describes everything short to the point so that we dont have to create a whole bunch of extra characters and we can still explain everything quickly and clearly only by visuals.

In my eyes I think it would be better to stretch out the middle where he is decending and speaking with the people. rather then complicate the begining.

I do like the mid-to-end to this I feel it's a great Idea to go with the ox getting over confident ect and changing the proclimation, however the people should still be hungry/starving so that they can know that a meal every three days inst enough food for them. I mena if they are doing fine with no food at all how will they know whats good or not right?

Now I know I'm devalued... lol jokes.

andy Zeng said...

well, it seems no spider ox anymore. actually i prefer to make our story funny than make it serous. right now our story is back to funny! great! i think Kelly's version works pretty well over all. the motivation makes sense too. maybe the beginning is too long. it seems like an episode if me make the ox tries to steal the mission. the introduction better less than 2 mins for a 4 mins films. furthermore, i have one question: if the emperor sends the ox to the earth because the worship level is low, how come the emperor punishes the ox because he mixes up the message but the worship level is at an all time high?
so i think we still face the same problems as 2 weeks ago. our story is good, but the introduction and the resolution r not strong enough.
what do u guys think?

Coelasquid said...

The idea was that the Emperor punishes the ox for screwing up the message and promising the people too much food. He doesn't find out that the ox's message has brought worship levels to an all-time high until after he delivers the punishment, but since we've already established that his word is permanent he can't take it back. He still sends the ox back to earth, but he gives him his constellation to make up for it.

The ox is disappointed that even though he has the constellation, he won't be up in heaven to get all the respect that goes along with it. At least until he realizes that the people on earth are giving him respect for everything he's doing for them.